As Canada’s tourism sector continues its post-pandemic recovery, and as demand for travel continues to grow, a significant labour shortage remains the major obstacle to successful recovery.
This was one of the two challenges that students from three universities—Université du Québec à Montréal–l’Institut de tourisme et d’hôtellerie du Québec (UQAM-ITHQ), the University of Guelph, and Metropolitan Toronto University—faced in the 15th edition of the Annual Hospitality & Tourism Case Competition held on March 11 in Toronto.
I was asked to be a member of the jury responsible for evaluating a case study that focused on a labour issue in the restaurant section of a large hotel chain. I was impressed by this new generation of future leaders who are determined to play a major role in their chosen sector, tourism. These young adults have demonstrated a strong work ethic in management and customer service, and a great ability to develop effective and sustainable solutions.
“I would absolutely pursue a career in tourism because it’s such an important industry. I am really passionate about it because I think it helps keep cultures alive and it gives you an opportunity to experience all of those cultures from far and wide.” – Kathleen, a fourth year student in the Tourism and Hospitality Management program at Toronto Metropolitan University.
“What made me fall in love with tourism is the human contact, and the fact that we allow people to live an experience, and then to receive that experience as well, it’s a give and take, we return home happy and fulfilled with what we accomplished during the day.” – Lisianne, a student in the Bachelor of Tourism and Hospitality Management program at ESG UQAM-ITHQ.
It is now up to the industry to prove to these young leaders that they made the right choice!